Joey Sankey overcomes difficulties of collegiate recruiting, becomes all-time points leader at North Carolina

first_imgJoey Sankey spent thousands of hours playing lacrosse in the small backyard of his twin home in Warminster, Pennsylvania.Every day, he’d play with his older brother, Ryan Sankey, for about 40 minutes until Ryan got bored, then he’d spend another hour or two practicing by himself.Sankey played so much that the grass was constantly torn up in his backyard. He ripped shot after shot on goal to the point that the neighboring house was covered in dents and his neighbor started stealing his lacrosse balls.“I would just be out there with my dog,” Sankey said. “I would shoot and she would chase it and I would have to get the ball back from her. It was a fun time.”Sankey, though, never expected the success he’d eventually receive. His dream didn’t extend past Salisbury, a small Division III school in Maryland. Instead, North Carolina head coach Joe Breschi took a chance on a player that most Division I coaches weren’t interested in because of his small stature.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSankey’s used his stick skills and gritty play to become the all-time career points leader at UNC. He’s been motivated and pushed by his father to help overcome his 5-foot-5 stature.And when he and the No. 2 Tar Heels (12-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) take the field against No. 4 Syracuse (9-2, 2-2) on Friday at 8 p.m. at PPL Park in the first round of the ACC tournament, Sankey will only be adding to his surprising career.“I was one of the few teams that looked at him and felt like he could make an impact,” Breschi said. “… He’s been tremendous for us for the past four years.”Sankey started playing lacrosse in first grade. But as with every other sport, he played with Ryan on a team two years above his age group, coached by his dad.His dad was tough on him, and so were his brothers. After any bad game, Sankey’s dad reminded him of his performance during the car ride home and at the dinner table. He and his brothers, one two years older and the other eight years older, would sometimes get into fights.“Both of them could still kick my ass, but I definitely had to try and get as tough as I could from them,” Sankey said.Sankey idolized former Syracuse star Mikey Powell, trying to imitate his moves from highlight reels posted to YouTube.Eventually Sankey’s neighbors complained to his parents about the dents in their home and Sankey’s dad bought a batting cage for Sankey to shoot in. As he got older, Sankey needed to shoot farther away from the net, so he cut one side off the batting cage and was able to shoot from anywhere in his yard.“There was a lot of pressure to not be known as the coach’s son who’s just on the team because he’s the coach’s son,” Sankey said. “I was always really conscious of that and never wanted people to think that I got anything just because of my dad.”People questioned Sankey’s size and fragility, but when he played well against a team with D-I committed lacrosse players at a club tournament during his freshman season, he realized D-III wasn’t his ceiling.The public high school by Sankey’s house didn’t have a lacrosse team, so he attended William Penn Charter (Pennsylvania), a private school with a highly rated lacrosse team.When Sankey arrived at UNC, he looked at the players in front of him, including now-Syracuse senior Nicky Galasso, and wasn’t convinced he could find playing time.“I definitely questioned myself,” Sankey said. “… I was a little doubtful of whether I could do it or not.”In scout team practice, Sankey impressed, grabbing passes and scoring behind the back in midair, before earning a spot on the field.“Even guys like Jack McBride who was already a two-time All-American would stop and watch,” UNC attack Jimmy Bitter said.Now three years later, Sankey’s second on the team with 60 points and has 217 in his career. Everything he’s been able to accomplish goes back to his early years of playing lacrosse and the hours he dedicated in his backyard.Said Sankey: “I think that definitely made me the player I am today.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 22, 2015 at 10:04 pm Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettuslast_img read more

Angels’ Albert Pujols has injection in knee, goes on 10-day DL

first_img Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros That means, if all goes well, he would miss a total of six games, including the Freeway Series against the Dodgers this weekend, and a three-game series against the Houston Astros immediately after the break. Scioscia said Pujols had consulted with the Angels’ medical staff to establish a time for his DL stint. The All-Star break helps minimize the time the 38-year-old slugger will be out of the lineup.“Albert at times has been superhuman,” Scioscia said. “He’s been dealing with a lot of things. And he’s played with them. This has been bothering him for awhile. But he’s really managed to stay in the lineup, playing first base a lot and doing things that are important for the club.”Related Articles Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield LOS ANGELES — Angels slugger Albert Pujols will not surpass Ken Griffey Jr. for sixth place on baseball’s all-time home run list this weekend at Dodger Stadium.Pujols tied Griffey with his 630th blast on Thursday, his second homer during the Angels’ 11-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners, but the future Hall of Famer was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Friday with what the club described as inflammation in his left knee.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Pujols, who received a platelet-rich plasma injection on Friday, had been dealing with knee pain for “awhile,” according to Manager Mike Scioscia, and was estimated to be about 50 percent in recent days.“Maybe this will get him to a little higher of a percentage and it’s not as taxing,” Scioscia said.The extent of Pujols’ stay on the DL, which spans the All-Star break, is expected to be the minimum 10 days, with a return slated for July 23 against the Chicago White Sox. Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter center_img An hour after Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley announced he would retire at the end of the season in a news conference at Dodger Stadium, Mike Trout reflected on the veteran’s career in the visiting clubhouse.Trout, who was raised in New Jersey, rooted for Utley and the Philadelphia Phillies as a teenager and was in attendance when they won the 2008 World Series. In past interviews, Trout described Utley as his favorite player, along with New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.“Just the way he played the game,” Trout said. “He played hard every pitch. If it was a big situation, it seemed like he’d come through. And as a fan growing up, you couldn’t ask for more effort or dedication to the game.”Trout has since met and kept in touch with Utley since making his major league debut with the Angels in 2011.“It’s pretty crazy that growing up, watching him, and having the chance to play against him, is pretty cool to me,” Trout said.ALSOThe Angels signed Junichi Tazawa to a minor-league deal. The right-handed relief pitcher had been waived by the Detroit Tigers on Monday. Tazawa was designated for assignment by the Miami Marlins in May after posting a 9.00 ERA in 22 appearances. … Outfielder Jabari Blash was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday, while outfielder Michael Hermosillo was optioned. After he was used mostly as a designated hitter in 2017, Pujols has been healthy enough to see more time at first base, where he has been for 48 games, compared to 38 at DH. Pujols has hit .251 this season with 16 home runs and 52 RBIs.This will be his first trip to the DL since 2013, previously his only other stint since signing with the Angels, when he missed the final two months because of a foot injury.In a corresponding move, the Angels recalled Jose Fernandez from Triple-A Salt Lake. Fernandez was in the lineup for Pujols on Friday night against the Dodgers. Pujols did not travel with the team Friday.TROUT ON UTLEY Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Without LeBron James, Lakers fizzle against Rockets

first_img How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Before the game, Coach Frank Vogel described a new starting lineup with Davis at center, Kuzma at power forward and Quinn Cook at point guard as something he “wanted to play around with” after the Lakers’ last loss to the Rockets on Feb. 6. But regular center JaVale McGee was also inactive via a coaching decision, and he cheered from the bench while wearing sweatpants and sandals.The team also had a goal to give Markieff Morris, Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith more foothold with their new teammates. While they certainly played more minutes, it was arguable how valuable those minutes were: They combined for just 4 for 17 shooting.Talen Horton-Tucker, a little-used rookie from Iowa State, earned his first NBA points and finished with 10.Vogel said while his team is shooting the lowest percentage of any of the 22 bubble teams from 3-point range, he believed that a regression to the mean is coming.“I do believe in percentages, I do believe in guys trusting in the work they’re putting in,” he said. “The law of averages plays out. And I’m OK getting all these misses out of the way now.” “They want you to shoot turnarounds,” Kuzma said of the Rockets, “they want you to shoot threes because they’re small, and you just got to pound them inside. It worked for us, but not enough.”Rather than reversing their chilly 3-point shooting trend, the Lakers largely ignored it. They had a 13-minute stretch where they attempted none at all. This was a considerable concession to the Rockets, who knocked down 21 of their 57 attempts from distance.The game was its most interesting during a five-minute stretch that saw the Lakers on a 10-0 run that tightened the game to 94-87. But Harden broke the Rockets out of the jam with a contested run to the rim, and then three unanswered 3-pointers later, the rally was over.The Lakers said James was out with right groin soreness, which has periodically flared up throughout the last year-and-a-half, but has also served as a go-to explanation for an abundance of caution, especially on back-to-backs. Alex Caruso also missed the game with neck soreness. During a hard fall on Wednesday night against the Thunder, Caruso appeared to grab his neck and wince with discomfort.The James-Caruso duo, the Lakers’ chief table-setters, were sorely missed as possessions were often one-man affairs, or wound up with turnovers. The Lakers finished with 24 turnovers to just 18 assists.Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersPreviousThe Los Angeles Lakers kneel during the national anthem before an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)Houston Rockets guard James Harden, center, passes the ball while defended by Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, left, and forward Anthony Davis, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green (14) shoots in front of Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsHouston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles while defended by Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green (14) blocks the shot of Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers (25) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)Houston Rockets forward Ben McLemore, right, fouls Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) who makes a basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, right, leaps to shoot while defended by Houston Rockets guard James Harden, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel, center top, gestures to his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)Los Angeles Lakers’ Talen Horton-Tucker (5) shoots in front of Houston Rockets guard Chris Clemons (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)The Los Angeles Lakers kneel during the national anthem before an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) holds the ball while defended by Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker (17) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) takes a backward shot against the Houston Rockets during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, center, reacts before an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)The Los Angeles Lakers kneel during the national anthem before an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)Houston Rockets guard James Harden, center, passes the ball while defended by Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, left, and forward Anthony Davis, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)NextShow Caption1 of 13Houston Rockets guard James Harden, center, passes the ball while defended by Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, left, and forward Anthony Davis, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)Expand“Offensively, we haven’t been great,” Danny Green said. “Everybody knows that.”Rockets guard James Harden starred even without backcourt mate Russell Westbrook (right quad contusion), skating into the lane with relative ease and splashing five 3-pointers. Harden finished with a game-high 39 points and 12 assists.The Lakers attempted to funnel their aggression into the lane, outscoring small-ball Houston in the paint 58-30. But while Anthony Davis muscled his way inside for 17 points and 12 rebounds, he also was swarmed, giving up seven turnovers without James to draw away defensive attention.Davis did not speak to the media following the game.Kyle Kuzma, who was in the starting lineup, finished with a team-best 21 points on 8-for-16 shooting to continue a good stretch of play in the bubble. Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed center_img Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — There might come a time when Rockets-Lakers is a playoff series, pitting some of the NBA’s most vibrant stars and two extremely divergent basketball philosophies at odds.Thursday’s game between those teams offered very little insight into what that matchup might look like.Without LeBron James or any discernible sense of cohesion, the Lakers lost a 113-97 match to Houston that brought them closer to the playoffs, but no closer to the team they want to be when the postseason arrives.While the Lakers have talked about trying to sharpen their play in the remaining seeding games, they haven’t built confidence with a 2-3 record in the restart: The Lakers finished Thursday’s game just 2 for 19 from deep, their worst mark yet in five games.last_img read more